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Charisma, Culture and Performance

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Abstract:  Charisma Culture and Performance

The paper explores the relationship between charismatic leadership, national culture and organizational performance based on a review of relevant literature and proposes hypotheses on the nature of the relationships in the Jamaican context as a basis for further study.

Beginning with the concept of charismatic authority or leadership as first presented by Max Weber in his essay, The Three Types of Legitimate Rule, and ending with the transformational leadership constructs of Idealized influence, attributed and behavioral, as developed by Bernard M. Bass, Bruce J. Avolio in a series of books and articles, the paper synthesizes the literature on charismatic leadership to give a clear assessment of its impact on follower and ultimately organizational performance.  Importantly, the ethical dimensions of charismatic leadership and its classification as either authentic or pseudo is also presented.

The paper then considers the moderating effect of national culture on the impact of charismatic leadership on follower and organizational performance.  Possible mediating effects of national culture are examined from the theoretical framework developed by Geert Hofstede who has provided extensive data supporting four classifications of national culture; power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism-collectivism and masculine-feminine.  The fact of cultural differences in how management and leadership is viewed is explained through Implicit Leadership Theory (ILT) which contends that people’s underlying beliefs and assumptions influence how followers may assess leadership style.  Developing the interplay between charismatic leadership, national culture and organizational performance, the paper includes a review of the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness research project (GLOBE) which builds on the work of Hofstede and Implicit Leadership Theory to derive a Culturally Endorsed Implicitly Leadership Theory (CLT).  Among the six leadership dimensions identified by the GLOBE study is charismatic/leadership.

A hypothesis is presented which proposes the possible impact of charismatic leadership on follower and ultimately organizational performance within the context of the Jamaican cultural disposition towards the charismatic leadership style.  A study is then proposed to test the hypothesis.




Presented by: N. Christian Stokes

PhD Candidate:  Economic Development Policy

The Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES)

University of the West Indies, Mona Campus


Cultural Considerations

How effective would charismatic leadership be in this culture?.

Culture and Organizational Performance

Impact of Culture on Leadership

Suggested Research – Charisma, Culture and Performance in Jamaica


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